Another month, another double feature (albeit an unintentional one).
Today, we have Nir Bergman’s “Broken Wings” (2002) and Lawrence Kasdan’s “Body Heat” (1981).
Now really, these films have nothing in common. I watched them in the same day, they both start with “B,” but beyond that, nada. The former is about a family falling apart, the latter a suspense filled thriller of seduction and murder.
But hear me out.
“Broken Wings” is a snapshot look at family in a downward spiral. Nine months ago, a man died unexpectedly, leaving behind a mother with a low-paying job and four kids he loved. Maya (Maya Maron), the oldest, has dreams of becoming a rock star, but she constantly has to put those on hold because her mother, Dafna (Orly Silbersatz Banai), needs her help.
Yair (Nitai Gvirtz), the second child, has somewhat checked out of his life, dropping out of school for a dead-end job and a nothing future. Ido (Daniel Magon), the third child, is also ditching school to play at filming himself doing crazy stunts. Bahr (Eliana Magon), the youngest, is at that point where she knows she’s lost her father, but she just can’t grasp why her mother is always away from her.
Immediately, you’re sucked into this family and their joys and struggles. The performances, especially Maron and Silbersatz Banai are just real; you live this family’s pain as if it were you own. It’s a debut film (Bergman wrote and directed it) that gets family dynamics right and knows that everybody screws up sometimes, even when they don’t mean too.
The only downside; you’ve probably seen this film before. “Broken Wings” is an intense, well-acted, well-written little drama, but there’s nothing new here. It’s a criticism, but not necessarily a drawback. I’d hate to see this film with a twist ending, or real suspense, or the extra-tragic ending. It’s fine the way it is.
Our other film is “Body Heat,” a cautionary tale of seduction.
In a small town in Florida resides Ned Racine (William Hurt), a defense attorney with a wandering eye but a decent enough persona.
One day, he meets Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner), a wealthy married woman, and he’s immediately smitten. He tracks her down again, and even though he knows better, they quickly begin a summertime affair.
Lots of steamy sex and declarations of love later, and the couple is contemplating the murder of Matty’s loaded husband Edmund (Richard Crenna).
If you’ve seen any episode of “Law and Order” or “Double Indemnity,” you can probably figure out what happens next; the twists and turns in the story, while not much of a surprise, are still a fun ride, thanks in large part to the sweaty atmosphere of the story and Turner and Hurt’s magnetic and sexy performances.
I won’t spoil anything, but I will offer a warning to the fellows out there; the heart (or other organs) may want what they want, but don’t forget about your brain.
And here we’ve stumbled into our unifying theme; like “Broken Wings,” “Body Heat” is a slightly unoriginal story, but totally worth the trip.
I’m trying to think of another way to say “there’s nothing new under the sun” and it’s not coming; forgive the flagrant use of clich, but it’s the truth. Yeah, I saw the destination early on for both films, but that doesn’t mean the journey wasn’t compelling (or in the case of “Body Heat,” suspenseful).
Even if you’ve seen “Broken Wings” and “Body Heat” before, see them again, for the first time.